Are you harnessing the full power of video to extend your business-to-business brand?
Ironically, many B2B marketers are huge consumers of online video while missing the boat for their own corporate branding.
If you don’t want to be left high and dry, it’s time to step up and start incorporating video into your B2B brand strategy. Why? Because video – when done right – is eminently sharable. It’s cost effective, easy (yes, easy) to produce and vividly showcases your brand.
New social video services like Vine (6-second looping videos from our friends at Twitter) and Spreecast (sharable video chats/conversations), supplement the traditional video posting enabled by YouTube, Vimeo and Viddler. A wealth of distribution and promotion options makes it incredibly easy to produce and publish brand videos for sharing through social networks.
Video Planning: It Doesn’t Take Much
While creativity is essential, no special equipment is required to produce an engaging video. All you need to get started is a strong sense of your B2B brand attributes – personality, values and messages – and a basic plan that covers:
- Timing: Are you publishing on a regular schedule, only when time permits or on an event-driven schedule (i.e. conferences, product releases, etc.)
- Distribution: Will you publish your videos through your blog, via Twitter, on LinkedIn? How will you encourage sharing in your social community?
- Approach: You want a degree of consistency in your videos, with an attitude and tone that reinforces your brand. Will videos be educational, informational, humorous or serious? (Hint: Humor helps, but don’t take it too far.)
- Logistics: Who, what and where will you film? Do you need to coordinate locations, employees and facilities? If so, allow time for this and be sensitive to operational considerations.
- Guard Rails: Do you need approvals from legal or management before posting? Make sure your videos comply with corporate brand standards and social media policies to ensure they help you brand and don’t hurt it.
Stuck on Where to Start?
If you have considered the above but struggled with where to start, here are five ideas for brand-boosting videos you can create this week:
- Meet the Team – Showcase employees with short profiles of what they do and how it benefits your customers. People really like to see who is “behind the scenes.” It personalizes your business and creates affinity for your brand.
- Video Testimonials – Ask your customers what they think about your business. Video testimonials are much harder to fabricate than written ones, so they carry a lot of weight with prospects.
- How It Works – Short demos are extremely helpful, even for the most mundane products. Illustrate your product in action with short video clips and commentary, or show uncommon and unexpected uses.
- Virtual Tour – Most companies don’t offer live tours of their facilities, why not create one with video? Make it fun by sharing unique shots of your factory, corporate offices, support centers or warehouses.
- How It’s Made - The success of the TV show by this name is testament to people’s fascination with how things are put together. Even if you don’t have a physical product, you can share how software or services are conceived, created or delivered.
Keep it Simple
You could easily get bogged down for months developing a detailed video production plan, hiring professional videographers, writing scripts and so on. Don’t.
The key to socially sharable video is to keep it short and simple, with a fresh take on your topic. Your videos don’t need to be perfect, just make them interesting and entertaining. Avoid boring talking heads, bland backgrounds and dark rooms.
DO think about:
- Good audio with limited background noise.
- Decent lighting so you can see your subjects.
- Action and motion that captures interest but isn’t distracting.
- Limit editing to keep it real and fluid.
- Brand your videos – you never know where they’ll be embedded, and you want viewers to find their way back to your business.
Share and Share Again
When your videos are ready, post them to your preferred platform and cross promote through all your social channels. Encourage comments and you’ll quickly learn how to improve your approach for the next video. You’ll also generate ideas from viewers for new videos (in fact, you can ask in advance if you’re not sure what to produce).
Keep sharing to keep older videos in the public eye. Ask your employees to share with their contacts. Periodically remind customers where they can find your video content. Archive them on your website or selected social networks in addition to your YouTube channel to get more views and feedback over time.